Ahh, Rare-Extreme. “Sharply written”, “witty” and “reliable” are but a few adjectives one could easily place next to their name with the aid of any functional writing instrument or word processor. The technology is there, and we aren’t in a position to stop you.
Over the years R-E have made contact with many reliable inside sources, promising the secret behind Banjo-Kazooie’s infamous “Stop ‘N’ Swop” feature (but never revealing it), confirming Perfect Dark 2′s appearance at E3 2002 (which never showed it), and even scoring a tour of Rare HQ. Yes, they’ve done it all. We at The Rubber Chicken might have had occasional creative differences with Rare-Extreme, but it doesn’t mean we don’t respect them as fellow journalists. Sometimes a gentleman must swallow his pride and give credit to his enemies. In the following exposé, we hope to establish their credibility once and for all.
Part 1: Dance Dance Rareware
Late last year, R-E editor Wozza received an email from an anonymous source with some breaking news.
|Banjo The Banjo?
Information reveals a possible music game starring our favourite Rare mascots! Rare Extreme received some very intriguing news during the week regarding a currently unannounced Xbox title from Rare. According to a Rare employee who wishes to remain nameless, Rare management have recently approved a music game much in the style of ‘Candy’s Dance Studio’ found in the Game Boy Advance port of Donkey Kong Country. ‘Candy’s Dance Studio’ was a mini-game similar to ‘Parappa the Rappa’, where players had to replicate various dance moves by pressing the corresponding buttons displayed on screen. The source revealed that soon after the completion of Donkey Kong Country, a programmer who worked on ‘Candy’s Dance Studio’ put forward a game idea to several lead designers, who then proceeded to construct a short console demo of the GBA mini-game. Utilizing the ‘Monkey Mines’ track, the small group of employers presented a game design outline to Rare management, suggesting some of Rare’s more human-like characters to star – Joanna Dark, Kameo, Vela, Banjo, Conker – due to the fact it would be much easier to create multiple dance animations for these human-like mascots. According to the source, Rare management approved the game design, and preliminary work on the title is currently underway. The employee was unable to confirm exactly which Rare characters would appear in the game, explaining a final decision had yet to be made on whether to include only ex-DKR and Banjo characters, or mascots from each active Rare franchise. The music composition for the game was in full swing, but no approximate release date was revealed. R-E would like to advise readers that this news should be regarded strictly as a rumour until further evidence appears to support our sources claims. You can trust R-E to update on this story as soon as any fresh information is revealed. Moggo
“Pish-posh!” the naysayers amongst you might sputter. “Any Average Joe, Ordinary Jane or Cross-Dressing Jéanita could make an anonymous hotmail account and claim to be a Rareware employee!” But Rare Extreme had been alive and kicking for three years! With so many industry contacts, they would surely know an authentic source when they saw one. Perhaps they really were finally getting the attention they deserved…
Besides, the article clearly passed off this information as solid fact, only mentioning that it was unconfirmed as an afterthought. This informant was obviously reliable.
A week later, Rare-Extreme had secured an exclusive interview with the same source:
Rare Extreme: Q1: Regarding Banjo-Tooie, just why were there so many signs pointing to the secrets in Banjo-Kazooie (the six eggs and the ice key) but no explanation as to why players can’t actually get these secrets without resorting to entering in the sand castle floor cheats?
Rare Extreme: Q2: Conker’s Bad Fur Day was by far an excellent ending to your Nintendo 64 lineup, we saw a lot of great movie parodies in the game, were the any particular favourites that didn’t make the final cut that might or might not be added to Conker: Live and Uncut?
Rare Extreme: Q9: Kameo elements of Power has been pushed back a fair bit with it’s release date. Is this because the game was designed for the Nintendo Gamecube and now altering the software for Xbox has caused delays?
Other information we scrounged out of Rare includes confirmation that a media blow-out of screens and videos is on the way for Perfect Dark Zero. We also found out that there is a particular reason for the endless references in Grabbed by the Ghoulies to the Banjo-Kazooie games and confirmation (again) that there is indeed an Xbox Sabrewulf title in development.
Special thanks to the source for taking time out from your busy schedule.
Many readers were no doubt puzzled as to why certain answers were paraphrased at the end.
Some suggested the answers gave away too much and needed to be toned down to protect the source’s identity. The more skeptical argued it was completely fabricated. Either way, the world would never know for sure… until now.
In a Rubber Chicken exclusive, we can finally reveal these omitted questions and their very provocative answers.
(HOW DO WE KNOW? Let’s not spoil the surprise!)
Rare Extreme: Q5: Sabrewulf is a known Game Boy Advance title and recently there has been new media and information revealed regarding this title. There are also rumors spreading around suggesting a Sabreman Xbox title. We recently reported a rumor stating Dolby Digital has pre-release versions of a Sabreman Xbox title. Does such a game really exist? Is there anything you can tell us about this title?
Rare Extreme: Q10: Is there a particular reason for putting lots of references in Grabbed by the Ghoulies to the Banjo-Kazooie games?
Rare Extreme: Q12: Finally, I would like to devote the last question to Perfect Dark Zero. Are we likely to see a “media blowout” for this title in the not to distant future? Just how long has a Perfect Dark title been in development for? Is there anything else you can tell us regarding this title?
Biting words indeed. On any other fansite, this might be considered gross overgeneralisation and incredibly shoddy journalism. But remember, this is Rare-Extreme! They’re no strangers to deciphering hints from insiders. In fact, this was their second Rare interview in less than two months. They knew what they were doing.
While the interview itself shed less than a hairless cat, history has proven it authentic. As the source said, all would be revealed when Grunty had her revenge. At the time of writing this has yet to happen, despite the recent GBA title “Grunty’s Revenge” referring to something Grunty did not, in fact, have. And as predicted, absolutely nothing has been revealed on the Stop ‘n’ Swop debacle up to this day. Creepy.
As for the mysterious dancing game, the lack of any real denial suggested Rare had some sort of non-disclosure agreement in place, meaning the game was clearly and indisputably in development. Yes, the future was looking bright for the title many forumgoers now affectionately dubbed “Dance Dance Rareware”.
Or so they thought.
Part 2: The Plot Thickens
Bafflingly, this was the last Rare-Extreme ever printed on the title. However, our own sources have revealed a wealth of subsequently-revealed details – information once held by Rare-Extreme, but never publicly announced. This new data (originally sent to Wozza by the same informant) included an official working title and, more excitingly, leaked concept art! For a notoriously secretive company like Rare, such an unprecedented security leak would provide an incredible opportunity for the first fansite to break the news.
Why, then, did it never see the light of day? Had Rare’s lawyers silenced them before word could get out? Where they protecting their source’s identity? Or was something even greater afoot…?
In another Rubber Chicken exclusive, we can finally unveil this lost concept art to the world:
This was fanboy dynamite. Soon after the release of “It’s Mr. Pants” on Game Boy Advance, Rareware.com’s online mascot would reach the console mainstream. Again, the question is inevitable: why did Rare-Extreme hold back? What were they afraid of?
Dubious legend has it that Wozza started on an epic Pants Dants special, but aborted it when other inside sources claimed the game didn’t exist. This is clearly not the case. After all, Wozza would later proudly reference the interview in assorted forum posts, without any hint whatsoever that he doubted the source’s authenticity.
Like a pointless simile, time passed. At the end of 2003, Moggo (who reported the original news) was sacked from Rare-Extreme (reportedly because the R-E forum members were upset after he deleted their one-syllable posts). The new vacancy was quickly filled by an enigmatic young writer named ONF_Franklin. But despite amazing Wozza with his sample articles, he would never get his chance to shine.
According to some unsubstantiated rumours, this new staffer may have had access to additional Pants Dants information. Namely, that British comedian Tony Hawks – who shot to stardom in the 1980s with “Stutter Rap” by Morris Minor and the Majors – was penning a brand new MM&tM track specifically for Rare’s dancing title.
Whether this is fact or fiction is hard to determine. If true, it is entirely possible the rumour never reached Wozza, who inexplicably broke contact with ONF_Franklin only days after hiring him. Even the announcement of his recruitment has since vanished from Rare-Extreme’s update archives. He was never heard from again.
Rare-Extreme may have given up on Pants Dants, but with the truth finally exposed, we hope it will finally get the recognition it deserves. Rest assured we at The Rubber Chicken will work tirelessly to bring you more information on this amazing upcoming title.
Oh wait, never mind. It was us all along.
More Callbacks To A Silly Online Subculture We Really Ought To Distance Ourselves From:
Game Downloads: Mr Pants 2000 & 2001
Opstacles: A Rare Webcomic
Rare-Extreme’s EXCLUSIVE Tour of Rare HQ
Interview with an Ex-Rare Employee
Goldeneye 2: Perfect Dark Review
The Happy Adventure Series
Did Me Mention How Great Our Podcast Is?